Tropical Fish Secrets
It's always fun when a guest comes into my home for the first time... you can see their eyes light up like a little kids' and exclaim, "Wow, an aquarium!" as they make a "B-line" for it and proceed to gawk in amazement!
Tropical Fish Secrets

Friday, April 28, 2006

Source of aquarium inhabitants

Fish and plants for the first modern aquaria were gathered from the wild and transported (usually by ship) to European and American ports. During the early 20th century many species of small colorful tropical fish were caught and exported from Manaus, Brazil; Bangkok, Thailand; Jakarta, Indonesia; the Netherlands Antilles; Kolkata, India; and other tropical ports. Collection of fish, plants, and invertebrates from the wild for supply to the aquarium trade continues today at locations around the world. In many places of the world, impoverished local villagers collect specimens for the aquarium trade as their prime means of income. It remains an important source for many species that have not been successfully bred in captivity, and continues to introduce new species to enthusiastic aquarists.<br>
The practice of collection in the wild for eventual display in aquaria has several disadvantages. Collecting expeditions can be lengthy and costly, and are not always successful. The shipping process is very hazardous for the fish involved; mortality rates are high. Many others are weakened by stress and become diseased upon arrival. Fish can also be injured during the collection process itself, most notably during the process of using cyanide to stun reef fish to make them easier to collect.<br>
More recently, the potentially detrimental environmental impact of fish and plant collecting has come to the attention of aquarists worldwide. These include the poisoning of coral reefs and non-target species, the depletion of rare species from their natural habitat, and the degradation of ecosystems from large scale removal of key species. Additionally, the destructive fishing techniques used have become a growing concern to environmentalists and hobbyists alike. Therefore, there has been a concerted movement by many concerned aquarists to reduce the trade's dependence on wild-collected specimens through captive breeding programs and certification programs for wild-caught fish. Among American keepers of marine aquaria surveyed in 1997, two thirds said that they prefer to purchase farm raised coral instead of wild-collected coral, and over 80% think that only sustainably caught or captive bred fish should be allowed for trade.<br>
Since the Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta splendens) was first successfully bred in France in 1893, captive spawning techniques have been slowly discovered. Captive breeding for the aquarium trade is now concentrated in southern Florida, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Bangkok, with smaller industries in Hawaii and Sri Lanka. Captive breeding programs of marine organisms for the aquarium trade have been urgently in development since the mid-1990s. Breeding programs for freshwater species are comparatively more advanced than for saltwater species.<br>
Aquaculture is the cultivation of aquatic organisms in a controlled environment. Supporters of aquaculture programs for supply to the aquarium trade claim that well-planned programs can bring benefits to the environment as well as the society around it. Aquaculture can help in lessening the impacts on wild stocks, either by using raised cultivated organisms directly for sale or by releasing them to replenish wild stock (Tlusty 203), although such a practice is associated with several environmental risks.

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Tropical Fish Secrets
It's always fun when a guest comes into my home for the first time... you can see their eyes light up like a little kids' and exclaim, "Wow, an aquarium!" as they make a "B-line" for it and proceed to gawk in amazement!
Tropical Fish Secrets